New Tennessee Legislation of Interest to Tort Lawyers – Post 19

Post 19 addresses the liability of "agritourism professionals."  What, in heaven’s name, is a agritourism professional?  A person involved in agritourism, of course.  And what is that? Agritourism is 

any activity carried out on a farm or ranch, eligible for greenbelt classification under Title 67, Chapter 5, Part 10, that allows members of the general public, for recreational, entertainment, or educational purposes, to view or enjoy rural activities, including farming, ranching, historic, cultural, or harvest-your-own activities, or natural activities and attractions. An activity is an agritourism activity whether or not a participant provides compensation in money or other valuable compensation to participate in the activity. Agritourism activity includes an activity involving any animal
exhibition at an agricultural fair, regardless of the location of the fair.

Here is a brief description of what the bill does:

This bill confers immunity on an agritourism professional against liability for any injury to or death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of agritourism activities. Similarly, this bill prohibits any participant or participant’s representative from maintaining an action against or recovering damages from an agritourism professional for any injury, loss, damage, or death of the participant resulting exclusively from any of the inherent risks of agritourism activities.

The conferred immunity does not prevent or limit the liability of an agritourism professional if the agritourism professional or any of its agents does any of the following:

(1) Commits an act or omission that constitutes reckless disregard for the safety of the participant, and that act or omission proximately causes injury, damage, or death to the participant;
(2) Has actual knowledge or reasonably should have known of a dangerous condition on the land, facilities, or equipment used in the activity or the dangerous propensity of a particular animal used in the activity and does not make the danger known to the participant, and the danger proximately causes injury, damage, or death to the participant;
(3) Fails to train, or improperly or inadequately trains, employees who are actively involved in agritourism activities and an act or omission of the employee proximately causes injury, damage, or death to the participant;
(4) Intentionally injures the participant; or
(5) Commits any other act, error, or omission that constitutes willful or wanton misconduct, gross negligence, or criminal conduct.

Click on the link to read the entire text of Public Chapter 498.